Port Wellington's maiden voyage

5th September 2007, 18:05
Thought i would give a little history from my fathers old scrap book, who passed away ten years ago, as we have no kiddies i wouldn't want it to be lost for ever without boring some one else with it first(Jester)
His name was Ronald James Graves and joined the Port Wellington as a steward and became the ships tiger.
She set sail on the 9th October 1946 from King George V dock and her ports of call were,
Cape town
and returned back at King George V docks on the 6th march 1947 having taken 71 days.
I only know the name of one ship mate who was Ronnie Bedford who apparently jumped ship in Australia, and a ships writer who's name was Dennis.
Dad had a job of looking after two great danes that were bought from Ireland and England and shipped to a Syd ingham in Brisbane at the cost of 300 gns i have some news cutting on this but will only upload cuttings on the ship.
I sure he had the time of his life at sea as he always said he wished he never came back to work ashore.
Any way sure the cuttings may be of interest
I have some more cuttings but don't know if anyone wants to see them, it may be greedy to fill the forum with uploads.

29th January 2008, 16:11
I joined this ship Feb'68 in Hull,my 1st ship as deck apprentice aged 17.We loaded for Pacific islands&NZ,brought back butter&wool to Hull.
Still recognise the dining saloon,apprentice table starb.side aft.I was first in and last out 'cos we went thro' the menu!!
Apprentices worked hard but played hard.12 passengers carried on the ocean passages which kept the food excellent and entertainment good.When we arrived in NZ,entertainment even better!!
Oh Happy Days....it's the smells that I can remember,brown windsor soup,red lead paint,oakum for the teak deck,smells of the cargo...wool,butter etc.
Just retired,after 40 years at sea.Regards,Mike Lewis Williams

29th January 2008, 16:38
Greetings Mike and a warm welcome to SN. Enjoy the site and all that it offers. Most of us left the sea years ago but our minds are still there. Bon voyage.

19th October 2008, 21:40
Hello my name is Heather Coe and my dad Victor Frank Coe used to be on the Port Wellington in the 50's

12th January 2009, 21:22
I sailed on the Port Wellington from around June 1966 to December 1966. We went via Suez followed by an interesting unscheduled stop at an island in the Red Sea called Jamel et Arr. We picked up an SOS from two English Lighthouse engineers who had almost run out fo fresh water and all their animals had died. I was lucky enough to be in the lifeboat that went to pick them up and still remember the Chief Officer pulling a revolver from his pocket and challenging the two men who both looked like Robinson Crusoe with long beards and clothes that had seen better days. What surprised us was the fact that we were the first of ten ships to respond to the SOS and the two engineers were very descriptive and critical of all those nine ships that passed them by. They were able to identify among them two very famous liners. We dropped them off at Aden after kitting then out with some of our own clothes. Our first port of call in Australia was Sydney, then on to Brisbane where I met my future first wife. We then went back to Sydney, then Devenport in Tasmania (loaded apples) and then to Melbourne where on its last night in port I jumped ship and went up to Brisbane where I married my Brisbane girl four months later. My name is Jim Pratt (Scottish) but my nickname on the Wellington was Jock the Noo, so coined by my cocknee mate Roy Bowman (AB). I remember we took 4 dogs and some 12 passengers one of whom was a young English guy who apparently was off to the Northern Territory to shoot crocodiles. I still remember him departing the ship in Sydney dressed to kill in his safari gear with rifle over his shoulder looking very much like Allen Quartermaine, which was the cause of great bellows of laughter from the wharfies. I don't think anyone told him Darwin was some 2,500 miles to the north west.

Best Jim